The Eternal Value of Privacy

"Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, 'If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.'

Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest -- or just blackmail -- with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies -- whoever they happen to be at the time.

Bruce Schneier writes about the importance of privacy and the dangers of a surveillance society.

"For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgement, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that -- either now or in the uncertain future -- patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable."

1 comment:

Mr. H.K. said...

Hey son,

Have you seen this site yet?

http://www.aharef.info/2006/05/websites_as_graphs.htm

I have no idea how to make a screen shot of the one for my blog, and I have NO IDEA how it works (even with the explanation provided) but I figured you would dig it...